Fibre in the South African Market
Published on: 11 November 2020
Fibre internet has provided a welcome solution to expensive, slow and unreliable internet with a high likelihood of interruption due to copper theft and low infrastructure maintenance in outlying areas.
Despite its many benefits, the uptake of fibre by the South African consumer was initially quite slow since its first local launch in December 2014. The spike in fibre uptake in recent years can be attributed to several factors including; a more informed consumer, more automated services requiring fast and reliable internet, higher numbers of people working from home (more recently), improved micro-trenching technology, greater fibre coverage, and one of the biggest factors being a significant drop in prices. Find My Fibre has assisted in making fibre more accessible to the public through its consumer centric approach of digitising the fibre application process
With a greater number of people being able to easily acquire fibre, the price will continue to decrease, and the accessibility will further improve. With the development of improved micro-trenching technology (the rollout speeds have already increased 10-fold), the cost of installing fibre infrastructure will decrease and rollout to outside of metropolitan areas will occur.
What does more affordable and accessible fibre internet connection mean for South Africa?
Fibre will provide more opportunities to jobseekers and entrepreneurs.
In a nation with an extremely high unemployment rate (currently 30.1% official*) job seekers have greater access to seeking job opportunities and more ways to apply and communicate with potential employers. Fibre internet also gives entrepreneurs a platform on which to conduct their business and advertise their offerings. Furthermore, the fibre business itself serves as a means of job creation as more and more individuals are required to manage this rapidly growing industry.
Fibre will allow more families to connect in a meaningful way.
With rapid urbanisation (currently at a rate between 60-66%), many parents have had to move closer to their place of work, leaving their families behind, with few opportunities to visit. Similarly, high levels of immigration from South Africa lead to the separation of families between countries. Fibre internet connects these families via technology including video calling platforms and social media channels.
Fibre will improve the access and quality of lessons and e-learning.
Fibre gives schools access to a wealth of information and improves the quality of lessons. It also provides access to a completely new media formats such as video lessons and animated pictures depicting processes in a more realistic and engaging way. Smart schools will become more common place. COVID-19 has also prompted a significant rise in homeschooling and e-learning, for which fast, reliable internet is paramount. According to a recent poll by Parent24, there has been a 60% increase in homeschooling enquiries as parents adjust to the new normal. This further highlights the need for widely accessible Fibre internet.
The possibilities of the future that fibre can bring is boundless and there will likely be many remarkable developments that we can’t even envision yet. One thing is certain, Find My Fibre will be there to empower and support the South African consumer every step of the way.